A cleaner acquitted of the murder of her 81-year-old employer is “pleased and relieved” with the verdict returned by a jury.

Nicola Bushnell, 44, from Epsom, was found not guilty of the murder of Joyce Cregeen, after a four-week trial on Monday, November 30, by the jury formed of eight men and four women, at the Old Bailey.

She declined to talk to the Epsom Guardian this week, but commented on the verdict through her legal team.

Solicitor Laura Bailey said: “Mrs Bushnell denies having been involved in the murder and is pleased and relieved that the jury found her not guilty.

“She thanks her legal team at Blackfords for all their hard work.”

Mrs Cregeen, a retired police administrator, was stabbed at least 25 times receiving 66 wounds at her three-bedroom terraced home in Sefton Road, Epsom. She was found lying in bed on a pool of blood on May 15 last year.

A post mortem examination revealed Mrs Cregeen had stab wounds to the right side of her chest, stomach and right arm some of which perforated her heart, lung and liver.

Mrs Cregeen lived on her own since the death of her husband Arthur, in 1997, and has one daughter, Linda, who does not live in Surrey.

The widow, who was described in court as a “formidable lady,” had employed Bushnell for eight years.

The cleaner worked at the pensioner’s home once a week, did her shopping and collected Mrs Cregeen’s pension for her regularly.

Bushnell, a mother-of-two of Middleton Road, was acquitted of the murder but she admitted stealing money from Mrs Cregeen and was given conditional discharge for the crime.

Officers from Surrey Police have started reviewing the evidence in the case to establish if there are other lines of enquiry they can pursue.

According to a police spokeswoman, the review is due to last for two months.

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